We avoid frustration and disappointment when we understand our spouses spiritual gifts.
Family Counseling Ministries -
Sam and Linda looked forward all week to their upcoming
weekend visit with good friends who lived several hours away. The entire family
made elaborate preparations. The children could hardly contain their excitement
about spending two days with their grandparents. As he serviced the minivan and
loaded the luggage, Sam thought about the fun of helping Jim build a back deck
on his home. For her part, Linda was eager to offer comfort and encouragement
to Susan, who had suffered a miscarriage two weeks earlier.
What promised to be a pleasant and memorable weekend of
fellowship became a source of personal frustration for Sam and Linda.
Driving home Sunday evening Linda poured out her
disappointment and irritation to her husband, You acted as though you didnt
care that Susan lost the baby. You and Jim were off in your own little
deck-building world. You didnt have to finish the deck this weekend. Was it
too much to ask of you to spend a little time expressing some concern for her?
Dont her feelings matter to you at all?
Sams surprise and hurt tumbled out,
Of course I care about Susans feelings. She and Jim are our
best friends. You know Id never do anything intentionally to offend her. I
dont understand where all this is coming from. I thought we shared great
mealtime conversations, but Jim and I were focused on getting the job done.
Whats wrong with that?
These partners, one motivated by a desire to serve, the
other propelled by a heart of mercy, are seriously hindered in the
communication process because they do not understand one anothers spiritual
The writer of Romans 12:6-8 charges Christians with a
supremely important responsibility,
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given
to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the
proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his
teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality;
he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Each one of these seven motivational gifts is viable and
essential to the well being of the Body of Christ.
God entrusts all Christians with gifts and graces that
they should enthusiastically exercise. As Believers use these gifts properly,
they encourage and edify other Christians. When husbands and wives come to
understand their motivational gifts, they are free to build each other up in
the faith, strengthen the body of Christ, and share His life-giving message
with a lost and dying world.
Additionally, they learn to be grateful for the
differences in one anothers perspectives, rather than being threatened by
them. In place of the tension and misunderstanding that may typify a
relationship, peace and harmony begin to reign.
Instead of defending their own approach to a particular
situation, husbands and wives begin to appreciate the value of their mates
unique way of responding to the same circumstance.
When we learn, as marriage partners, to accept one
anothers differing gifts, we are able to celebrate the diversity of those
gifts. However, when we fail to understand how God uses varying spiritual gifts
within the marriage relationship, we open the door to unnecessary misunderstanding
and heartache. God would not have us be ignorant of such a foundational
scriptural principle. Our mates need our whole-hearted affirmation of their
motivational spiritual gifts. We must be committed to encouraging one another
to implement our spiritual gifts in unique ways.